The paths to the rave are well-trodden ones. An industrial part of town, a place that feels emptied and abandoned resonating sound that the visitor can hear from afar. A space filled with colour, warmth, collisions and collective familiarity. This experience, so redolent in desirable narratives for live art, is re-imagined through Club Fierce: Algorave, as an evening of revelations in which the given aspects of action, dance, music and visual cultures that lie hidden and unexposed, are tested through active participation with the audience, recasting the dancefloor as a sequence of perfomative acts, DJ loops and live AV/sound. Sets are performed by Rosana Cade, My Panda Shall Fly, Antonio Roberts, Norah Lorway, Notendo and Alex McLean that fuse directly to the moment creating active spaces for the audience to respond.
Every club has it’s star, Club Fierce has Disco Derek who glides lightly down the stairs as a human glitter ball naked from the waist down, sparkling in sliver spangles, aluminium foil, gaffer tape and tassels. Shimmying onto the stage to the sultry sounds of Donna Summer’s guttural sighs of ‘Love to Love you Baby’, Derek moves towards a webcam with grace, straddles it and performs a peerless lip-synch that is projected full-screen to the audience’s shrieks of total delight. Derek’ s lip-synching, fleshy and vaginal, lips reclaiming the technicalities of the drag act for sheer bodily unpredictability. Rosana Cade’s humour disrupts and energises the audience, she steps off the stage with the simple request of ‘let’s dance’ and is joined by an adoring throng.
Later in the night the live code is improved by Alex McLean and digital artist Antonio Roberts, the audience able to access through two screens the coding directly as it happened. This act exposes one of the hidden truths of the rave, the alchemical materials of the DJ (that postmodern godhead) are never exposed to their audience, stickers obscure song titles on vinyl, the body hunched over laptops that the audiences never see, a mystery that can only be resolved through dance. Both screens are mesmeric to the audience. On one the repetition of McLean, text typed, erased and recalled, modulating and adapting samples and breakbeats; the other full of the striations of Roberts’ visual response. You become stilled by these scrolling texts. Sureties are recalled and abandoned, regulations are made across lines of text that chop and skew the voice and breaks into percussive loops. At points all elements breakdown, Mclean’s programme dissolves and Roberts’ visuals list protestations, veering from ‘ahhhhhh I don’t know what I’m doing’ to the brilliantly blasé ‘seriously who reads this anyway’. The responsibility of the code to communicate its intent is woven into the space at the same point an unexpected Gabba sample is regurgitated into a mass of beats and as visuals pulse through geometric forms.
The early morning arrives, Club Fierce is stilled and emptying. The cold air breathed in from outside. Cheeks and jumpers and the ground outside sparkles with stray glitter, stamped onto the floor by boots trailing the life of the Algorave back out into the city creating new forms that will mutate and reformat themselves, waiting for description.